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It's Too Soon For Toe Jokes, David Haye..WOODS

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HayeGoldenBoy4Social media users know that David Haye has been active on Twitter before and following his disappointing outing against Wladimir Klitschko.

He was Tweeting before the bout, which will go down in fightgame history as  a top exhibit when historians are searching for an example of a fighter talking up a typhoon of trash, only to follow that up with a pacifistic performance. “Just off to the gym to do final training session before fight,” he wrote on June 30. “Damn I'm feeling sharp! I'll try not to cut myself! 😉

No mention of the injury to his little toe which he blamed for his subpar effort Saturday. Hey, whaddya want, a pledge of truthfulness? This was apparently an exercise in marketing, almost purely so, for Haye. I considered the possibility that Haye would see this as a paycheck provider, nothing much more, when I Tweeted before the start of the bout: Just off to the gym to do final training session before fight: “Is this Haye's IRA fight? Cashout scene?”

I thought the sort of fight we saw was a possibility, only not as dreary. On June 27, I wrote:

“I see Haye using similar tactics (that he used against Valuev) against Wlad, and see Wlad not departing much from his winning ways. His trainer Steward thinks that the big Ukrainian may be fighting with a bee in his bonnet on Saturday, but the Klitschkos are where they are because they are two of the most mentally disciplined guys in the sport today.”

I didn't know Wlad would be quite so disciplined, though. His output was anemic for a man with such a physical edge. He is what is, and nothing Emanuel Steward can do or say to change that. Even if he agreed to electro-shock to reboot his brain, I think he'd still be the same risk averse athlete who fights with the rigidity of a machine. The Sanders fight flipped a switch in him, and that is that. If the Haye taunting can't get his blood pressure to rise, one wonders what a foe would have to do to get his blood roiling. He is Michael Dukakis when the Duke was asked by debate moderator Bernard Shaw during the 1988 Presidential campaign if he would favor the death penalty if his wife were violated. Dukakis replied, “No, I don't, and I think you know that I've opposed the death penalty during all of my life,” and drew flak for answering in a monotone, in politician-speak, instead of showing some fire, some vigor, some disgust at the crude question.

I probably gave Wlad lower marks for his showing than most any watcher out there. I was watching, and typing, so I'd have to re-watch to truly assess my take, but I had Haye piling up rounds early on. His ring generalship, the defensive side of it anyway, was much better than Wlad's. Wlad waited interminably, didn't press the smaller man, and got no credit for me for not using his physical edge. Maybe I punished him too much for that…

But I digress. I don't want to leave the reader with the impression that I was left admiring Haye's work. No, they both stunk the joint out, but Haye's stench will linger longer, because of all of his pre-fight threats and promises.

Things seemed promising the morning of the fight, when he Tweeted: “Just woke up, feeling ready for a tear up!!! 🙂 Porridge and fruit is being eaten…A warriors breakfast!”

I guess he meant “tear,” as in the liquid that runs down your face when you're sad? As for the breakfast choice, it has been said to death already that true warriors would not take kindly to Haye being lumped in with them.

After his sad showing, in which he threw a beyond paltry 24 punches a round, Haye  apologized. “Thanks for everyone who supported my tonight,” he Tweeted. “I Love you all. Sorry I wasn't able to produce the goods. I did my best considering circumstances.”

The circumstances he was referring to were his busted up pinky toe on his right foot. He hurt it three weeks before, he said in the ring after Klitschko had his hand raised, and yanked off his boot and sock to offer proof that it had impacted him. Hey, easy for me to sit on the sideline and opine on what he shoulda coulda done, theorize that he should've been able to shrug off the toe and be more aggressive. But he is a prizefighter. Different standards apply to the good ones. They have a pain tolerance that us Regular Joes can't fathom. It's a part, a large part, of what makes them special, of what sets their admirable legacy. “No way I could pull out after so many fans paid their hard earned money,” Haye explained after. “I believed I could still win. Klit fought me great, credit to him. Wladimir was the better man last night. He did exactly what he needed to win decision. He's a great fighter, and a hard man to beat. Respect.”

On surface, these are humble words. I'm not buying. Haye defrauded fans with his marketing barrage, and should parcel out refunds to any who ask for it.

And Haye's legacy? That of a BS artist who talked his way into a fight, and then gave a sad account of himsel. Like Shane Mosley, he took the money and ran.

Will the $10 million or more be worth it? Probably, actually. He seems in decent spirits, considering the nature of his effort. “Damn,” he Tweeted Sunday. “For someone who smack talks like I do, I was expecting a lot more abuse & Hate! Thanks for all the Love. It drives to continue on!”

No need for that, Haye. Feel free to do what you've said you might, retire.  You could start on the comedy circuit, and do a set of toe jokes, the likes of which you've been Tweeting. “I've been offered a movie roll in next years re-make of 'Scarface' The future looks bright! The lead role is playing.. Toe-ny Montana! haha”

Haha. Not. I'm not laughing, not if I ponied up hard earned cash to watch what was promised to be a fight. “I'm off my usual healthy diet and am working my way though a giant Toe-Blerone….ha ha,” he joked on Tuesday.

Too soon, bud. Too soon for the wise cracks. You probably should have faded away to a tropical isle like Mosley, wait for some other fightgame atrocities for us to focus on before you reappeared and started your campaign to rehab your image.

Is it rehab-able? I guess so, even though it dropped from the gutter to the sewer when Haye talked rematch on Sunday. “Hopefully, Wlad looks at the numbers,” Haye said to the Telegraph's Gareth Davies. “There’s no one out there for him. Look at the sums. It makes economic sense. The ball is in his court.”

This line of thinking indicates an unbelievaable level of delusion. Check that…tubby Odlanier Solis talked rematch after he tore his knee in round one against Vitali in March. So Haye is in good company. These two underachievers should face each other, on Friday Night Fights, and contribute their purses to a pension fund for ex fighters.

The Klitschko Crew's manager Bernd Bonte deserves  a chopsbust, for publicly mentioning Haye as potential foe for Vitali after Vitali takes care of Tomasz Adamek on September 10 in Poland. Really Bonte? Get ahold of yourself, and think about something other than the bank accounts. Haye stunk the joint out, and your boy didn't set the world on fire. How about you give everyone time to simmer down, and let other atrocities occur before you plot the next revenue builder?

Hey, at least one of these guys gets it. Vitali said he'd make sure the Adamek fight won't be a snoozer. I believe him, I guess,  but will hold out until proof is provided. The heavyweight scene jumped from bad to plain sad on Saturday, and maybe it's best if us keyboard tappers establish a cap on coverage until we get a whole new set of combatants in the arena.

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2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura

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The WBC World Super Featherweight title bout between Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura came on one of the biggest boxing stages of 2015, as the bout served as the HBO pay-per-view’s co-main event on November 21st, in support of Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez.

Miura entered the fight with a (29-2-2) record and he was making the fifth defense of his world title, while Vargas entered the fight with an undefeated mark of (22-0-1) in what was his first world title fight. Both men had a reputation for all-out fighting, with Miura especially earning high praise for his title defense in Mexico where he defeated Sergio Thompson in a fiercely contested battle.

The fight started out hotly contested, and the intensity never let up. Vargas seemed to win the first two rounds, but by the fourth round, Miura seemed to pull ahead, scoring a knock-down and fighting with a lot of confidence. After brawling the first four rounds, Miura appeared to settle into a more technical approach. Rounds 5 and 6 saw the pendulum swing back towards Vargas, as he withstood Miura’s rush to open the fifth round and the sixth round saw both men exchanging hard punches.

The big swinging continued, and though Vargas likely edged Miura in rounds 5 and 6, Vargas’ face was cut in at least two spots and Miura started to assert himself again in rounds 7 and 8. Miura was beginning to grow in confidence while it appeared that Vargas was beginning to slow down, and Miura appeared to hurt Vargas at the end of the 8th round.

Vargas turned the tide again at the start of the ninth round, scoring a knock down with an uppercut and a straight right hand that took Miura’s legs and sent him to the canvas. Purely on instinct, Miura got back up and continued to fight, but Vargas was landing frequently and with force. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at the halfway point of round 9 as Miura was sustaining a barrage of punches.

Miura still had a minute and a half to survive if he was going to get out of the round, and it was clear that he was not going to stop fighting.

A back and forth battle of wills between two world championship level fighters, Takashi Miura versus “El Bandido” Vargas wins the 2015 Fight of the Year.

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Jan 9 in Germany – Feigenbutz and De Carolis To Settle Score

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This coming Saturday, January 9th, the stage is set at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany for a re-match between Vincent Feigenbutz and Giovanni De Carolis. The highly anticipated re-match is set to air on SAT.1 in Germany, and Feigenbutz will once again be defending his GBU and interim WBA World titles at Super Middleweight.

The first meeting between the two was less than three months ago, on October 17th and that meeting saw Feigenbutz controversially edge De Carolis on the judge’s cards by scores of (115-113, 114-113 and 115-113). De Carolis scored a flash knock down in the opening round, and he appeared to outbox Feigenbutz in the early going, but the 20 year old German champion came on in the later rounds.

The first bout is described as one of the most crowd-pleasing bouts of the year in Germany, and De Carolis and many observers felt that the Italian had done enough to win.

De Carolis told German language website RAN.DE that he was more prepared for the re-match, and that due to the arrogance Feigenbutz displayed in the aftermath of the first fight, he was confident that he had won over some of the audience. Though De Carolis fell short of predicting victory, he promised a re-vamped strategy tailored to what he has learned about Feigenbutz, whom he termed immature and inexperienced.

The stage is set for Feigenbutz vs De Carolis 2, this Saturday January 9th in Offenburg, Germany. If you can get to the live event do it, if not you have SAT.1 in Germany airing the fights, and The Boxing Channel right back here for full results.

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2015 Knock Out of the Year – Saul Alvarez KO’s James Kirkland

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On May 9th of 2015, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delivered a resonant knock-out of James Kirkland on HBO that wins the 2015 KO of the Year.

The knock-out itself came in the third round, after slightly more than two minutes of action. The end came when Alvarez delivered a single, big right hand that caught Kirkland on the jaw and left him flat on his back after spinning to the canvas.Alvarez was clearly the big star heading into the fight. The fight was telecast by HBO for free just one week after the controversial and disappointing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight, and Alvarez was under pressure to deliver the type of finish that people were going to talk about. Kirkland was happy to oblige Alvarez, taking it right to Alvarez from the start. Kirkland’s aggression saw him appear to land blows that troubled the young Mexican in the early going. Alvarez played good defense, and he floored Kirkland in the first round, displaying his power and his technique in knocking down an aggressive opponent.

However, Kirkland kept coming at Alvarez and the fight entered the third round with both men working hard and the feeling that the fight would not go the distance. Kirkland continued to move forward, keeping “Canelo” against the ropes and scoring points with a barrage of punches while looking for an opening.

At around the two minute mark, Alvarez landed an uppercut that sent Kirkland to the canvas again. Kirkland got up, but it was clear that he did not have his legs under him. Kirkland was going to try to survive the round, but Alvarez had an opportunity to close out the fight. The question was would he take it?

Alvarez closed in on Kirkland, putting his opponent’s back to the ropes. Kirkland was hurt, but he was still dangerous, pawing with punches and loading up for one big shot.

But it was the big shot “Canelo” threw that ended the night. Kirkland never saw it coming, as he was loading up with a huge right hand of his own. The right Alvarez threw cracked Kirkland in the jaw, and his eyes went blank. His big right hand whizzed harmlessly over the head of a ducking Alvarez, providing the momentum for the spin that left Kirkland prone on the canvas.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went on to defeat Miguel Cotto in his second fight of 2015 and he is clearly one of boxing’s biggest stars heading into 2016. On May 9th Alvarez added another reel to his highlight film when he knocked out James Kirkland with the 2015 “Knock Out of the Year”.

Photo by naoki fukuda

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